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County wants out of housing authority
March 21, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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The Scotts Bluff County Housing Authority is a part of the county in name only – and the county board wants to change that.

The housing authority, formed in the 1970s, needed county support to organize. But the agency receives its funding from state and federal sources. Its board isn’t appointed by the county, the county’s representative on that board can’t vote and the county doesn’t do its budget.

However, housing authority vehicles do bear county government plates, which has been a point of contention for several years.

“We have nothing to do with the Scotts Bluff County Housing Authority other than the name,” said County Commissioner Ken Meyer. “They do good work, but it has nothing to do with us. Still, the public thinks the housing authority is a part of the county, which it isn’t.”

Commissioner Sherry Blaha is the non-voting member on the housing authority board. She said there shouldn’t be any problems with the county pulling out. However, the authority would need to change its by-laws and name.

“This has been discussed for some time,” Blaha said. “The county attorney told us we can’t initiate pulling out of the authority, but they can.”

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner said the board could encourage the housing authority to make the change. Commissioners agreed to consider an agenda item during its next meeting to have board chairman Mark Masterton sign a letter explaining the county’s position.
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